Lily’s Project, titled “Floral Grief” investigates the impact that plastic flowers (often placed on grave sites) have on the surrounding environment.
When I was about 5 years old, I collected some plastic flowers at Cornelian Bay during a City of Hobart Bushcare activity. I took the flowers home and put them in my cubby house. Over time, some were thrown out but one bunch remained in our garden and even now, over 10 years later, having been out in the weather for that whole time, it is still clearly recognisable as a bunch of flowers.
The flowers Lily collected when she was 10 years old were blown from the cemetery at Cornelian Bay, down to the waterfront. Over the course of this year, Lily has collected over ten full, large rubbish bags of plastic flowers and vases that have blown from the cemetery into the surrounding bushland and foreshore. Lily has used these flowers to create this artwork, to bring awareness to the community about the use of plastic flowers and how they are impacting the environment.
From Lily’s Artists Statement:
Plastic flowers, while pretty, cheap and often convenient:
- Last in the environment for years and years
- Blow off graves into the surrounding bushland, River Derwent and the ocean extremely easily
- Break down into even more harmful microplastics
- Fresh flowers (without any plastic wrappings)
- planting a shrub or small plant in a pot
- using silk, ceramic, wood or metal “flowers”
Through this sculpture, I wanted to raise awareness about how the earth is becoming more and more polluted as a result of plastics, like these flowers. For this reason, I decided to make a coffin, a symbol of death and place a model of the Earth inside.
Floral Grief was on display at the Cornelian Bay foreshore, May and June 2020.
Please note that Cornelian Bay Cemetery does not allow plastic flowers on new sites, but still has many old sites that have plastic flowers.
Acknowledgment: Friend’s School News